The last original Aston Martin DB5 known to exist that was used filming "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" is going up for auction later this year...

James Bond's DB5 Up For Auction

2nd June 2010

The Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" is going on sale at a London auction in October. The silver 1964 Aston Martin DB5, dubbed by car auctioneers RM Auctions as "the world's most famous car," is expected to fetch at least $5 million, and may rise as high as $10m according to some experts.

The car is one of only two of the original Aston Martins that featured on screen with Sean Connery behind the wheel, and is the only one of the two known to still exist. It comes with gadgets including fake machine guns, revolving number plates and smoke screen.

The model is being sold by U.S. radio broadcaster Jerry Lee, who bought it for $12,000 in 1969. It has remained in his home since then and has rarely been seen publicly. The car is going under the hammer at RM Auctions in London on 27th October 2010.

The last 007 car to go on the market fetched $2.1 million in 2006 from a private buyer. But that Aston Martin never appeared in any Bond film; it was one of two replicas created for publicity purposes; the other is in a museum in Holland. Mr. Lee's prized possession will be the first authentic Bond car from that time to go on sale in decades. The only other one used in filming, "the effects car", mysteriously vanished from an airport hangar in Boca Raton, Fla., in 1997.

Dave Worrall, British author of "The Most Famous Car in the World: The Complete History of the James Bond Aston Martin DB5," predicts the coming sale will be "a huge deal" because of the other car's disappearance. If "it's gone forever, then that one takes over as the last remaining original one in the film," he says. Click here for more details on the other Aston Martin DB5s.

This DB5 was called the "road car" and was used to shoot driving and chase scenes. Originally, it had no gadgets, but a complete set—minus the ejector seat—was installed for promotional purposes after the Bond car became an instant icon following Goldfinger's release in 1964. Mr. Lee says he managed to convince Aston Martin in 1969 to sell him the car with the help of its American distributor. When Mr. Lee arrived in Britain to seal the deal, "The car looked like a piece of junk. It was in a corner of the factory. It was covered with dirt."

Quality-control manager at RM Auctions, Don McLellan, says the engine runs fine—the odometer reads just under 31,000 miles—although the braking and exhaust systems required replacement. As for the gadgets, most either worked or were fixable, including the oil sprayer. "In fact, the whole trunk was very oily," he says.

Technical Details & Notes

  • Silver Birch exterior paint; Dark Grey leather interior
  • Engine: 3,995 cc/ Power: 282 bhp (210 kW) at 5500 rpm/ Torque: 288 lb·ft (390 N·m) at 3850 rpm/ Top Speed: 145 mph (233 km/h)/ 0–60 mph (97 km/h) Acceleration: 7.1 s (all figures quoted are for a ‘standard’ car without gadgets)
  • As the ‘Road Car’ driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger, FMP 7B was fitted with one of the first Vantage engine of any DB5, however, it displays triple SU carbs rather than Webers
  • For Thunderball, FMP 7B was fitted with the full complement of famous Bond ‘gadgets’ - by the Factory - that are seen onscreen, including machine guns, bullet-proof shield, revolving number plates, tracking device, removable roof panel, oil slick sprayer, nail spreader and smoke screen - all controlled from factory installed toggles and switches hidden in the center arm-rest

Movie History

  • Two Aston Martin DB5s were used on screen for the production of the timeless 1960’s James Bond classics, Goldfinger and Thunderball. One of those two cars was reported stolen in 1997 and is believed to have been destroyed. The other is FMP 7B
  • Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 and its gadgets were the brainchild of Oscar-award-winning special effects expert John Stears, also of Star Wars and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame
  • FMP 7B was the 'Road Car' used in Goldfinger . Featured in various locations and intended for the fast driving sequences, FMP 7B was given substantial screen time, most notably the scenes at the Stoke Park Club and, even more recognizably, when Bond is spying on Mr. Goldfinger from the picturesque Furka Pass in Switzerland
  • For Thunderball, FMP 7B was to have most of the screen time, so it was fitted with the full complement of gadgets which it carries to this day
  • FMP 7B, the only remaining Bond DB5 movie car in existence, is extremely original. Its specification has not changed since its appearance in Thunderball and virtually all its distinctive gadgets remain intact - a remarkable discovery

Ownership History

  • Sold in 1969 to American Mr. Jerry Lee – FMP 7B’s first ex-factory and remaining owner
  • Mr. Lee pursued FMP 7B and eventually negotiated its purchase from the Aston Martin factory for $12,000
  • For a time, Mr. Lee agreed to allow Aston Martin to continue to use FMP 7B for promotional purposes in the USA
  • FMP 7B enjoyed record-breaking crowds at exhibitions on numerous occasions throughout the seventies, until the car was pulled from public life in 1977
  • FMP 7B was shown publicly exactly twice over the ensuing 30+ years: once at the NY Motor Show in 1981 (making its second appearance there) and secondly at the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance in 1993
  • Otherwise, and until now, FMP 7B had remained completely out of public view, stored as a static display in Mr. Lee’s home

Today

  • The odometer shows approximately 30,000 miles, mostly - one presumes - from its tour usage
  • It is in highly original condition and was repainted at some stage
  • The original dark grey interior remains in generally good condition, displaying a remarkably authentic and appealing original patina to match the mileage
  • A careful re-commissioning program was recently undertaken by RM Auto Restoration, returning the car to running condition after its long-term static storage. Mechanically, this included a head-off engine service, a new clutch, a fully rebuilt braking system and new exhaust piping. (Completed in April/May 2010)
  • The systems running the modified devices have been serviced as well, for more reliable and robust demonstration. This includes the revolving number plates, machine guns, bulletproof rear shield, smoke screen, tracking device and electric release of removable roof panel and smoke screen

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